Cecilia Desgagnes - Quebec, Canada

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The Cecilia Desgagnes is seen in this photograph while underway in the St. Lawrence Seaway during April of 2000.
The picture was taken around noon from the gangway door of the Manitoulin by Willem VanMaanen.

Welland Canal Classics - Cecilia Desgagnes
By contributing Editor Skip Gillham

Cecilia Desgagnes is a versatile freighter and has seen service on a variety of routes. The ship was built by Hollming O/Y at Rauma, Finland, and completed in July 1971 as Carl Gorthon for the Swedish flag Gorthon Shipping Co. The hull was strengthened to Ice Class I specifications and measured 103.21 metres (338.6 feet) long by 16.77 metres (55 feet) at the beam. Tonnage was originally listed at 4,937 gross but this was changed to 5,595 gross in 1974 after the ship was lengthened to 114.31 metres (375 feet).

This diesel-powered carrier joined the Burnett Steamship Co. in 1980 and operated by Federal Commerce and Navigation (now Fednav) as Federal Pioneer. The ship was transferred to the Carlton Steamship Co. in 1981 and used for coastal and Arctic voyages around Canada. The vessel was idle at Sorel, Quebec when sold to Desgagnes Navigation and she resumed service on March 4, 1985, clearing for Baie Comeau, Quebec as Cecilia Desgagnes.

Deep seas, coastal, Great Lakes and Arctic service have kept the ship busy in ensuing years. She came to the inland seas with fluorspar for Hamilton in 1985 and returned on a similar delivery in 1987. She travelled to Toledo, Ohio to take on coal for Grande Anse, Newfoundland in November 1987 and was back late in 1989 and spent the winter at Windsor. She departed in the spring with salt out of Fairport, Ohio.

Her saltwater destinations have included Cost Rica with construction equipment as well as voyages to Jordan on the Mediterranean. Early in April 2001 Cecilia Desgagnes was emerging from winter lay-up at Montreal when she was transformed into the "Lady Panama" for a movie shoot. She regained her old name when the filming ended and returned to service.

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Posted: May 21, 2000       Last Revised: April 11, 2001
Photo by: Willem VanMaanen - Copyright © - 1999, 1999

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